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Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties aren't what they used to be

So yesterday all the true patriots came out to protest the excessive government spending that has brought us to brink of economic collapse right?

Well, not really. Depending on where you look, it would seem most protests were aimed directly at Obama and the perception that he is a socialist, or by people who just don't want to pay their taxes without giving up any of the benefits from said taxes (police protection, road maintenance, social security, etc.). Sadly, a lot of the protests I saw seemed more like people regurgitating the slogans they had prior to the election that seem at best misguided and at worst instigative. And I'm probably the 9,000th person to point this out, but the original Boston Tea Party was protesting taxation without representation, where as yesterdays' protests were against taxation with democratically elected representation, just not the person they voted for... or just taxation in general.

I'm sure many people went with the idea of protesting excessive government spending funded by our tax dollars, but somewhere along the line that message got lost in inflammatory name-calling, and that's what really bothers me about this kind of thing. When a majority of the dialogue is empty rhetoric, those who actually make a good point largely get ignored. And to be clear, a majority of what got shown from these tea parties was empty rhetoric. That doesn't mean that's all there was, it just means the rest got overshadowed.

When one political party places all the blame on another it doesn't help because it's obviously not true, but people don't want to hear that. Take this footage from yesterday, note how quiet the crowd gets when Dr. Paul refuses to blame one side over the other for the financial mess the country is in.

And I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to call the protesters tea-baggers, but that's a sure-fire way to make sure they are not taken seriously.



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